Blair Russell’s review published on Letterboxd:
Naturally this is a legendary motion picture that I have seen before, but the last viewing was many years ago so on a whim (and the ability to see this 3 ½ hour epic in the span of a day) I decided to finally watch then review this must-see classic here.
I imagine most know the plot; I am not saying that everyone reading this has seen the film before as that would be awfully presumptuous of me; but, many will know of the plot either from film discussion or having knowledge of either The Magnificent Seven movie. Those are pretty entertaining but they aren't incredible like this film is, where the titular samurai are asked to defend a town against bandits who robbed them before and someone overheard they plan on robbing them again soon; they help prepare the town for the attack.
All seven have distinct personalities; Toshiro Mifune's Kikuchiyo is the most memorable as he was the most vulgar and the most extortionate, but the other six (along with some of the townspeople) are unforgettable also. The film takes its time yet is never boring as it still has a fast pace; I am just saying there is enough time to get to know all those characters, along with exploring the various conflicts the movie has, such as the village being wary of the samurai.
Wiser people than I (and better writers also) have explained how Kurosawa's filmmaking is so great here between such things as shot selection, the multiple-camera shoot and how that was beneficial, editing, etc. Such articles can easily be found via Google. I will just say that this may be the best film ever done by one of the all-time-great directors and is a must-see. There are so many nuanced characters, so many interesting emotions present, philosophical discussion, and you can't forget the action scenes that are still effective today. The movie is so well-constructed that not only do the 3 ½ hours fly by, but you see how well the heroes plan on defending the village and how all the enemy deaths are clearly noted... as this film has a legitimate case in discussion of “What is the best movie of all time?” it should be watched despite its epic length and not just for how influential it has been in 60 plus years.